Sunday, October 30, 2011

You Can Call Me Eldin

Remember the painter, Eldin, from Murphy Brown? He was great! I feel like I should have on some paint coveralls all the time just like he did. I have been a painting fool for the past 10 months. When I first started back in January my goal was to have all the rooms in my house painted and decorated by 1/2013.  Weeeeell, I am thinking I may not make this goal, however, I sure am close! 

I have only 2 rooms left in my house to paint because I painted my bathroom this weekend. You know, I was thinking to myself, "Painting the bathroom, piece of cake! It is small, I bet you could do it Friday night after you get of work!" I look back and like that I have such high expectations for myself and actually think that I can meet "said" expectations. But boy was I wrong! That bathroom may be small but it has a door (which for some reason is my painting nemesis), built in vanity with drawers, and a 2 door cabinet. Might I also add...the room is small...very small for an 8 foot ladder. Maneuvering that beast takes talent, and folks, I feel I may have won that  award. At one point I had half the ladder in the bathtub and the other half over the toilet. But, that is aside from the point. I am sure you would like for me just to move this verbiage along and show you the before and after. we go!



This one is a little dark because of the lighting,

This one is much better! The color is very true in this picture.

Note to self: Save some money next time. One does not need a gallon of paint for a tiny bathroom. :)

There is a very interesting story behind me purchasing this house. The lady I purchased it from was a bit difficult. She took a bunch of stuff from the house when she moved out...down to the panels that cover the lights and electrical sockets! I mean who does that? She also took the oven, which was to stay with the house per the contract. But, apparently it had sentimental value to her. Anyhoo, that is aside from the point I would like to make..she painted the dang walls, trim, and cabinets off white so everything looks dirty! Ugh. I cannot believe how much better the house looks with a fresh coat of ceiling paint and white trim. Ah, sterile bliss! :)

 Enough with that rant, sorry to subject everyone. 

I added a few mason jars to the bathroom. One has my cotton balls and Q-tips the other has a  tea light in it.

Mason jars are awesome. 


Friday, October 28, 2011

Use Vinyl As Your Canvas!

Years ago I went to a thrift store and stocked up on old record. They were like a buck each. I walked away with some great Thriller, some Elton John, the soundtrack to Hair, Todd Rundgren, and Pink Floyd. I also walked away with some records that I had no idea who the heck the artist was and did not have huge attachment to those. So, when you don't have a huge attachment to a particular record...turn it into jewelry! I made a bracelet but there is so much more you can do than just a bracelet. But, I love my record bracelet and wear it all the time. Now, I just need to find some of the colorful records. I remember having green and red records as a kid and would love to make a bracelet out of that! 

So, the birthday of a good friend was coming up. I was sitting on the couch and asked Jeff, "what can we get her...I should make something. What can I make."  We thought about it for a minute and then Jeff insisted that I make a record bracelet. Done!

It is so easy to do.  Supplies you need:

* Record
*Cookie Sheet
*Box cutter (and or heavy duty scissors)


*Something round to use as a mold, such as a Pledge can. :)

-Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

-Put your record on a large cookie sheet (I did not have a large cookie sheet so I made my own cookie sheet out of worked okay).

-Let the record sit in the oven until it starts to warp.

-Pull the record careful it will be hot!

-Lay it on a nice hard surface. Take your ruler to measure a nice straight line. You can make the bracelet as wide or narrow you want. Use the box cutter to make your line. Some vinyl is very hard and difficult to cut with a box cutter. I find the box cutter does make a good scoring line if you press hard enough. You may need to use heavy duty scissors to cut on the line you scored. Or you can bend the record, at the point where you scored, back and forth until it comes apart.

-Pop the piece back in the oven to re-heat it. Leave it in there until it is pliable again, about 5 minutes or so. Don't leave it in there too long or it will ruin the vinyl. 

-Then, wrap it around something about the size of your wrist. For me, a pledge can works well.

-Ta DA! You have yourself a nifty little bracelet! 

If you want a tight fit, use a small jar. You can also cut off the ends for a more "cuff" look kind of like the one I made years back. 

Happy bracelet making!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chicken Crock Pot Pie

On days that I know I am going to be busy after work I try to simplify things by using my crock pot!  It is nice to come home to a house smelling like someone has been in the kitchen all day. So some strange reason, I have a hard time finding crock pot recipes that I really like. Roast is that "go to" crock pot recipe for me but frankly I am getting a bit tired of that. 

So, I pulled out my iPhone, used my dinner spinner app, and found a great recipe for the inside of a chicken pot pie. All you have to do is add a biscuit on top! 

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie Stew

4 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into cubes
10 medium red potatoes, quartered
1 (8 ounce) package baby carrots
1 cup chopped celery
2 (26 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
6 cubes chicken bouillon
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 (16 ounce) bag frozen mixed vegetables

1. Combine the chicken, potatoes, carrots, celery, chicken soup, chicken bouillon, garlic salt, celery salt, and black pepper in a slow cooker; cook on High for 5 hours.

2.  Stir the frozen mixed vegetables into the slow cooker, and cook 1 more hour.

*I did make a few adjustments to this. I did not cube my chicken. I laid the hole chicken on top of the mixture and after it was done cooking, I took a fork and shredded it. It worked great!

*I diced the baby carrots.

*I did not put in celery or the celery salt.

*I didn't add the chicken bouillon, instead I added about 1 cup of chicken broth.

*I used reduced fat condensed cream of chicken soup.

I made whole wheat biscuits to add on the top. This stuff makes a ton so we had enough for dinner the next night. Instead, I put the mixture in an au gratin dish and added Pillsbury crescent dough to the top and backed according to the package. That was good!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saturday in Granbury

This morning we woke up too ducks, lots of little ducks. They were just quacking away. It was great! I tried to feed them some bread but they got spooked and swam away.

 After mingling with the ducks I made breakfast. That is what is great about staying in vacation rentals vs. hotels. You have your own fully equipped kitchen and can cook up whatever you want!

So, I made an omelet with the left over veggies from last night and paired that with cinnamon rolls from Central Market

I relaxed with a bit of knitting while Jeff studied.

Then we took Millie for a swim in her life jacket. She was not to pleased, unfortunately. We are going to give it another shot tomorrow to see how she does. She does, however, rather enjoy barking at the ducks. 

Later, we drove to the square to have dinner at The Loft.  The square is so cute! This place was very nice and cozy. Quiet too for a Saturday but I liked it that way.  I pretended that we were at a restaurant in Victoria! 

We started with Beer Cheese Dip for an appetizer

 I had a wonderful salad with fried goat cheese on top! I love goat cheese so much but when it is fried I think I might like it even more. Texas State Fair, take note please. 

Then I had crab cakes for dinner. Yet another favorite thing of mine. Once I see crab cakes on a menu I have trouble focusing on anything else. These crab cakes were mighty tasty!

Then, when we got back to the lake house we had a little taste of the top layer of our wedding cake. My mom says that this is tradition, to freeze the top layer, thaw it out, and eat it on your first year wedding anniversary. 

I was very excited about this because, I remember how yummy that cake was. It was the only thing that I ate at my wedding, my only regret...I did not eat any of the food and we had crab cakes!! Ugh. So, I cut the wedding cake, while reminiscing about the wedding and how much fun I had, with a bit of banter back and forth with Jeff forcing him to have a bite even though he was stuffed.

 Unfortunately folks, year old thawed out frozen cake tastes like dirt. It sure looks pretty though.

Much to my disappointment, dirt cake does not taste so hot. So, to perk me back up my dear sweet husband pulled out a gift and it was in an Anthropologie bag!!!!! 

My gift came in a lovely little cloth bag.

It was a lovely ring that he thoughtfully picked out for me. I can't believe that he actually went in there by himself! 

A very perfect end to a nice day at the lake house. 


Friday, October 14, 2011

Granbury,Texas Pop. 5,718

Fort Worth, Texas Pop. 741,206. Sometimes is it nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the hometown.  I have never considered Fort Worth very big, until now. The nice thing about Fort  Worth is that it is close to many things. Texas it big enough that it is always pretty easy to find something to do, especially if you get a little creative. 

A year ago this weekend I got married. It is hard to believe it has been a year! We went to Victoria, BC, for our honeymoon. I would have loved to go back for our one year anniversary, but unfortunately that just was not in the cards this time. Hopefully next year! But, I wanted to get a way and do something fun somewhat resembling our stay at that wonderful B&B. It was beautiful and right on the water with the mountains in the background and forest behind. The best of all worlds! So, trying to find something somewhat similar, I decided a lake house rental on Granbury Lake it would be! Plus, we get to take Millie with us! She has never been on vacation with us or swimming so I bought her a life jacket to be on the safe side. 

To prepare for the weekend I of course had to stop at Central Market to pick up a few goodies and some wine. 

When we arrived we found a bottle of champagne with a nice little happy anniversary note from the owners of the lake house. A very sweet surprise! 

We unpacked and then went straight for the goodies, summer sausage, cheese, and crackers. This seems to be a common theme with us. When we arrive to our vacation destination we break out the summer sausage, cheese and crackers. Yum.

After we settled in a bit I started grilling. I am not certain when the last time the grill was cleaned because much to my surprise, there was a huge inferno because of all the burned food bits in the bottom of the grill. Fear set in that it was going to explode and burn the nice little lake house down. But, we got that all under control and fortunately my steaks turned out just fine.

Then, we ended the night with a movie and Millie managed to make herself comfortable.


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